Jeff Worley
800 Aurora Avenue
Lexington, KY 40502


1972-1975         M.F.A. in Creative Writing (Poetry), Wichita State University (fellowship 1974-1975)

1965-1971         B.A. in English, Wichita State University


2019-2021        Kentucky Poet Laureate

2011-present    Poetry Writing Workshops, Carnegie Center for Learning & Literacy, Lexington, KY

1997-2010        Editor and Chief Science Writer, Odyssey Magazine, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY [retired April 2010]

1996                 Writer-in-Residence, The Writer’s Voice of Lexington, Carnegie Center for Literacy & Learning

1994-1996        Program Director, The Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Writers’ Roundtable, annual conference held in Carrollton, KY

1993-1996        Associate Editor, Odyssey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

1991-1992        Adjunct Assistant Professor of English, poetry writing, Transylvania University, Lexington, KY

1989-1993        Assistant Editor, Odyssey, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY

1984-1986        Assistant Professor of English, Pennsylvania State University

1983-1984        Visiting Assistant Professor of English, University of Cincinnati

1975-1984        Instructor of English, University of Maryland, European Division

1972-1975        Teaching Assistant of English, Wichita State University

Honors and Awards

2019-2021        Kentucky Poet Laureate

2012                 Winner of the X.J. Kennedy Prize from Texas Review Press for book-length poetry manuscript, titled A Little Luck.

2009               “Sleeping with Two Women,” Mikrokosmos (Spring 2009). Selected as First Prize Winner in Poetry.

2007               Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern named winner in the Society of Midland Authors Literary Competition

2007               Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern named 2006 Kentucky Book of the Year in Poetry by the Southern Kentucky Book Fest

2007               Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council ($7,500)

2006               Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern nominated for Pulitzer Prize by Mid-List Press

2006               Award of Excellence from CASE-K for Feature Writing (for article titled “Miles Osland: Packing a Mean Sax,” from Fall 2005 Odyssey)

2002               Winner of the Atlanta Review’s 2002 Grand Prize ($2,002) for the poem “His Funeral” Award of Excellence from CASE-K for Feature Writing (for article titled “Technology with a Human Touch,” from Spring 2001 Odyssey)

1997                Bronze Quill Award, International Association of Business Communicators (IABC), for   Excellence in Writing (for article titled “The Nose Knows: Pheromones and the Sixth Sense,” from the Summer/Fall 1996 Odyssey)

1997                Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council ($5,000)

1996                Bronze Quill Award, IABC, for Excellence in Writing (for article titled “Dusting for Evidence,” from the Summer/Fall 1996 Odyssey)

1994                Winner of Mid-List Press first-book competition for The Only Time There Is

1992                Winner of Still Waters Press chapbook contest for Natural Selections

1991                National Endowment for the Arts Fellowship for Creative Writing ($20,000)

1991                Al Smith Fellowship, Kentucky Arts Council ($5,000)

1990                Winner of Devil’s Millhopper chapbook contest for The Other Heart

Books of Poetry

Lucky Talk (chapbook), 2018

A Little Luck, Texas Review Press, 2013

Driving Late to the Party: The Kansas Poems, Woodley Press, 2012

What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets (anthology), University Press of Kentucky, 2009 (Editor).

Best to Keep Moving, Larkspur Press, 2009

Happy Hour at the Two Keys Tavern, Mid-List Press, 2006

Leave Time (chapbook), Finishing Line Press, 2005

A Simple Human Motion, Larkspur Press, 2000

The Only Time There Is, Mid-List Press, 1995

Natural Selections (chapbook), Still Waters Press, 1993

Poems in Magazines and Journals

Alaska Quarterly Review, American Literary Review, The Antigonish Review, Atlanta Review, The Beloit Poetry Journal, Berkeley Poetry Review, The Black Warrior Review, Boulevard, California Quarterly, Carolina Quarterly, Chicago Review, Cincinnati Poetry Review, College English, Confrontation, Connecticut Review, Cream City Review, CutBank, DoubleTake, The Fiddlehead, The Florida Review, The Georgia Review, The Gettysburg ReviewGreat River Review, The Greenfield Review, Green Mountains Review, Harvard Review, The Heartlands Today, The Hollins Critic, Indiana Review, Jeopardy, The Journal, Kaleidoscope, Kansas Quarterly, Kentucky Poetry Review, The Laurel Review, The Literary Review, Louisiana Literature, The Louisville Review, The Malahat Review, The Mathematical Intelligencer, Mid-American Review, The Midwest Quarterly,The Minnesota Review, The Missouri Review, New England Review, New Letters, New Mexico Humanities Review, New Ohio Review, New Orleans Review, The New York Quarterly, North Dakota Quarterly, Northeast, Passages North, The Pennsylvania Review, Poet and Critic, Poet Lore, Poetry East, Poetry Canada Review, Poetry Northwest, Prairie Schooner, Prism International, Rattle, River Styx, The Seattle Review, The Sewanee Review, Shenandoah, The South Dakota Review, The Southern Poetry Review, The Southern Review, The Spoon River Poetry Review, The Tampa Review, Tar River Poetry, Tendril, The Texas Review, The Threepenny Review, The Three Rivers Poetry Journal, The University of Windsor Review, West Branch, Wind, Witness, Writers’ Forum, Yankee, and Zone 3.

Poems in Anthologies

Baby Boomer Birthright: The Legacy of a Generation; Beloved on the Earth; Beyond Forgetting: Poetry and Prose about Alzheimer’s Disease; Chester H. Jones Foundation National Poetry Anthology; Henry’s Creature: Poems and Stories on the Automobile; Intro 7; A Kentucky Christmas; Kentucky Voices, Missing Mountains; Motif Anthology: All the Livelong Day; Motif Anthology: Come What May; Motif Anthology: Writing by Ear; Poetworks: Essential Love; Poetworks: Proposing on the Brooklyn Bridge; Through the Gap; What Comes Down to Us: 25 Contemporary Kentucky Poets; Writing Poems.

Feature Articles Published

ACE Magazine; Agnes Scott Alumnae Magazine; Back Home in Kentucky; Currents; Endeavor (Scripps Research Institute); Glimpse (Clemson University); Kentucky Alumnus; Kentucky Humanities; The Kentucky Journal; Odyssey; Perspectives (Ohio University); Research in Review (Florida State University)

Selected Poetry Readings

Sayre School, Lexington, KY, Feb. 19, 2020

Campbellsville University, Campbellsville, KY, Feb. 13, 2020

Sustainability Summit, University of Kentucky, Feb. 4, 2020

Texas A&M, Commerce, TX, Dec. 2, 2019

Art Center of the Bluegrass, Danville, KY, Nov. 20, 2019

Pikeville University, Pikeville, KY, Oct. 25, 2019

Washington County Library, KY, Sept 26, 2019

Celebration of Kentucky-EU Partnerships, EU Ambassador’s Residence in Washington, DC, Sept. 18, 2019

Governor Scholars Program at the University of Kentucky, June 26, 2019

Poets Laureate readings at Sawyier Library, Frankfort, KY, June 24

Brier Books in Lexington, KY, April 7

Poor Richard’s Bookstore in Frankfort, KY, taped by local radio station WNAS, Feb. 19, 2019

Living by Words Series, Christ Church Cathedral, Lexington, KY, Jan. 14, 2015

The Morris Book Shop, Lexington, KY, Oct 3, 2014

Ashland Community College, Ashland, KY, April 13, 2010

First Friday Reading, Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort, KY, April 4, 2008

Spring Reading Series, Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, March 1, 2007

Black Swan Books, Lexington, KY, Dec. 2, 2006

First Friday Reading, Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort, KY, Nov. 3, 2006

Watermark Books, Wichita, KS, Sept. 22, 2006

University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, Sept. 20, 2006

University of Kentucky, one of eight authors reading from the anthology Missing Mountains, Wind Publications, sponsored by Kentuckians for the Commonwealth, June 1, 2006

Hanover College, Hanover, IN, May 4, 2006

Alzheimer’s Association Luncheon, University of Kentucky, Feb. 21, 2006

First Friday Reading, Poor Richard’s Books, Frankfort, KY, Dec. 2, 2005

Black Swan Books, Lexington, KY, Nov. 14, 2005

Joseph-Beth Booksellers, Lexington, KY, Nov. 6, 2005

Grand Opening Readings, Teegarden Center for the Arts, Brooksville, KY, April 16, 2004

University of Kentucky, Lexington Community College, April 15, 2003

Ohio River Festival of Books, Huntington, WV, Nov. 9, 2002

Lexington Arts & Cultural Center/Arts Place, Lexington, KY, April 28, 2002

“Poetry in the Park” with Ed McClanahan, James Baker Hall and Richard Taylor, sponsored by the Kentucky Humanities Council, Woodland Park, Lexington, KY, July 13, 2001.

Henry J. Leadingham Poetry Reading, Old State Capitol, Frankfort, KY, April 22, 2000

Twentieth-Century Literature Conference 2000, Louisville, KY), Feb. 24, 2000

Pennsylvania State University, Altoona Campus, Altoona, PA, Oct. 8, 1999

Hanover College, Hanover, IN, Oct. 3, 1999

Radio interview and reading on WRVG, Georgetown College, Georgetown, KY, March 31, 1999

Yearly Invitational Reading, Arts Place, Lexington, KY), March 7, 1999

Hanover College, Hanover, IN, May 7, 1998

The Frankfort Arts Council Annual Invitational Reading, with Wendell Berry, Ed McClanahan and Bobbie Ann Mason, Frankfort, KY, April 24, 1998

The Frankfort Arts Council Annual Invitational Reading, Frankfort, KY, April 26, 1997

Writer’s Voice Writer-in-Residence Reading, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Lexington, KY, April 23, 1996

University of Idaho, Moscow, ID, April 17, 1996

Morehead State University, Morehead, KY, Nov. 28, 1995

“An Evening of Kentucky Poetry,” Kentucky Art and Craft Foundation, Louisville, KY, Oct. 19, 1995.

Hanover College, Hanover, IN, May 4, 1995

Borders Bookstore, Minneapolis, MN, co-sponsored by Mid-List Press and The Loft, May 2, 1995

Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, April 20, 1995

Asbury College, Wilmore, KY, April 5, 1995

Annual Frankfort Arts Commission Invitational Reading, Frankfort, KY, Jan. 13, 1995

Kentucky Conservation Committee Benefit with Gurney Norman and Ed McClanahan, Frankfort, KY, Nov. 18, 1994

Poetry Workshops and Presentations

Kentucky Writers Hall of Fame Induction, Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning, Lexington, KY, read excerpts from Cleanth Brooks’ works, Feb. 5, 2020

Governor Scholars Program, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, taught poetry class, June 26, 2019

Poetry Workshop, Somerset Community College, Somerset, KY, April 9, 2010

Annual Poetry Panel, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS, Sept. 19, 2006

KET’s Book Club, Lexington, KY, Guest Author (A Simple Human Motion), April 2006

Poetry Workshop and Panel, Kansas Writer’s Association, Wichita, KS, Sept. 18, 2004

Western Pennsylvania Writers Project, Pittsburgh, PA, Poetry Workshop, Oct. 22, 1999

Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Writers’ Roundtable, Poetry Workshop, Hanover College, Hanover, IN, Oct. 1-3, 1999

“Celebrating Words,” William T. Young Library, University of Kentucky, Lexington, KY, panel member with James Baker Hall, Ed McClanahan, Mary Ann Taylor Hall, Joy Bale Boone and Gurney Norman, Sept. 3, 1998. Topic: importance and current status of literature in Kentucky

“Sexual Exuberance in Contemporary American Poetry,” Rotarians Club, Frankfort, KY,  April 23, 1997

“Publicizing UK Research,” UK Advance Leadership Development Institute, Lexington, KY, March 13, 1996

“The Writing/Publishing Relationship,” Kentucky Arts Council Conference, Louisville, KY, panelist, Oct. 22, 1994

Ohio/Kentucky/Indiana Writers’ Roundtable, Carrollton, KY, program director, Oct. 7-9, 1994